The real conspiracy is the same one you see everywhere. Government officials always assure us that we should hand over control and authority to them because they are “experts” who have our best interests at heart, but in reality, they are often clueless or inattentive to the bread and butter issues that can make or break a community.
Government is not and never will be some omnicompetent savior, and we have to abandon the idea that it is or can be. That doesn’t mean abandoning government agencies that can help, but it does imply that we shouldn’t rely on them and certainly shouldn’t take their word on anything. – David Strom
There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.
The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted.
Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears.
Today we get this:
A “rigged” election is not the same thing as a stolen election; stealing requires changing votes. “Rigging” is about changing the rules, the information landscape, or other factors that can influence voters using illegitimate means. Spreading misinformation can be a form of rigging, as of course censorship or “debunking” of true information.
I couldn’t say if the 2020 election was stolen–there certainly were irregularities as there always are in elections–because any vote changes or illegal ballots have to be in the right place in the right numbers, and no evidence has been accepted by courts indicating that enough illegal votes to change the results were cast.
And of course now we have lawfare against the leading candidate for the Republican side just as the 2024 campaign season is spooling up.
So, in honor of all that, let me present the new flag for the People’s Democratic Republic of America!
I’m not sure how long it will last, but it promises to be unpleasant.
Over at Quora the question was asked, “Is California as bad as the right wing says it is?” This answer from a gentleman named Ted Kord says this in response:
A very liberal buddy texted me a link two days ago along with the words “Fuck this shit!” No my buddy isn’t your average liberal. He’s a heavily tattooed, militant athiest hipster.
Not this guy, but you get the idea.
So what got my inked bohemian comrade so incensed?
Like me, my hipster amigo works as a California public school teacher. And over the last 10 years, discipline in general, and the sense of the teacher as an authority figure in particular, has been gutted by a very progressive legislature and two consecutive progressive governors.
I teach at a large high school that was once one of the 1000 best high schools in the United States. Back then it was a pretty nice place to teach. Now it’s pretty dystopian, with roving bands wandering the campus any time of day. If you like to keep your door open to get some fresh air, your instruction will be frequently interrupted by loud music, laughing, shouts, and the all-to-frequent eruption of profanity. I’m not talking about a couple times a day; I’m talking about several times per period. If you keep your door closed students will peer through the glass window looking for friends or bang on the doors and run away. If you go out and tell one the wandering bands to be quiet or get back to class, you WILL be met with expressions of defiance and disrespect. And that’s just dealing with the kids fooling around in the hall.
Poke your head out of my classroom anytime of the day and it’s going to look a lot like this.
Again, this is during class time. Teachers have been told they CANNOT LIMIT bathroom passes. Misbehavior prone students demand passes, then use those passes to wander campus, meet with friends, play on their phones, use intoxicants and deal drugs.
When it comes to your own students, you don’t have much more authority. If one of my students misbehaves, the harshest consequence I can give out is a phone call home. Maybe (and that’s a BIG MAYBE) if I’ve finally called home several times over a behavior, an administrator might actually issue a detention.
It’s not that the assistant principal for safety doesn’t want to help. His hands were tied by the state legislature. AB1729 passed a few years back making suspension of defiant students an extremely cumbersome and very time consuming process. The sheer commitment in time required to actually suspend a defiant student overwhelmed the capacity of administration. The legislature followed up with AB420 and SB419, each of which made the process more unwieldy. Pretty soon, no students could be suspended for defiance. But the law was so poorly written that it seemed to include (or exclude) a lot of behaviors.
A few years ago a student I wouldn’t let break the cell phone rule in class went off on me in a manner similar to how this student abused his teacher.
Even though I had previously called the student’s parents about his inappropriate classroom discussions about gangs, guns and fighting (documenting each call) the parents claimed I was picking on him and the student received only a 2-day class suspension. So for 2 days he sat outside the AP’s office playing on his phone, instead of actually working.
A few years back, my mentor teacher was walking down the hallway when she noticed a boy hanging out in the hallway. She asked to see his pass and reached for it. This 6 foot plus male cocked his arm back like he was going to punch her and yelled “I’ll smash your face.” My mentor, a 5′3″ tall, 60 plus year old woman stepped back and reported it to the office. The whole incident was captured on CCTV security cameras. The boy could be clearly seen taking a threatening, fist raised posture. But because she reached for the bathroom pass, the principal didn’t think administration could legally suspend the student.
Worse yet, the student claimed that he felt threatened by the diminutive AARP member. My mentor spent an entire weekend worried that she would be disciplined for the incident, even though she acted appropriately. She spent the weekend worrying that she would face discipline. The next Monday she went to the district office and filed her retirement paperwork. This was a tremendous loss to education. My mentor was one of the state’s leading expert in her subject matter, having written curriculum for entire states.
So what has my hipster amigo so angry?
California is in the process of passing two new laws to further gut discipline.
AB 599 will eliminate suspensions for students who come to school high or drunk, or use drugs on campus.
SB 274 will completely ban all suspensions and expulsions for willful defiance.
This is too much even for a counter-culture spirit who isn’t exactly opposed to marijuana.
California educators currently face daily, sometimes hourly incidents of defiance, disruption and deliberate disrespect. Many teachers have to deal with daily and ongoing behavior that would constitute a hostile work environment if those behaviors occurred in the private sector. Many of my colleagues have stress related health problems from dealing with unruly students whose uncorrected behavior gets worse.
Even if these bills don’t pass, behavior in California schools is already heading in a negative direction. The small minority of habitually disruptive students make life miserable and education untenable in many California schools. The passage of either bill will simply accelerate the deterioration of the Golden State’s schools.
In accordance with the long-standing tradition of this blog, when I find something I really think is relevant and well-written, I repost it with attribution. Usually it’s an excerpt. Or ten. Occasionally, it’s an entire piece. Today is one of those “entire piece” days. I meant to cross-post it here some time back, but things happened and it slipped my mind, but now I’m fixing that. By permission, from a post at Facebook by Brad R. Torgerson:
Long thought. Don’t say you had no warning.
The explicitly secular perspective is that there is no proof of a spiritual layer to human experience, therefore this spiritual layer does not exist. Or if it exists, it exists purely as a construct of the human mind. A figment. Untestable. And that while it’s all well and good to have morals, principles, and values, any of these things rooted in spiritual soil—amounting to supernatural belief in that which is unseen and unknown—is self-delusion. Perhaps even dangerous self-delusion?
But I ask: what of the self-delusions of those who turn their backs on “old time” faith? Surely by now it’s abundantly evident that those who deny the old churches and the old ways of believing (coping?) merely fashion new churches and new beliefs (again, coping?) to explain not just how the world and the universe work, but what our purpose in this world ought to be. Why we’re here. Or, if not why, what we ought to be doing with ourselves during our finite lives.
The Marxists replaced God with the State. Whose purpose was to perfect the human condition. But which did in fact make immense human misery across the decades of the Marxist Century (1920-2020.) And there are Marxists who insist to this day that their paradigm is the paradigm which will own the human future. They agitate for this. Protest for it. Threaten it.
How is the belief of the devout Marxist—after an entire century of woe, pain, death, and suffering on every continent—in any way different from the belief of, say, a Catholic? Or a Muslim? Or a Mormon?
We have all the proof in the world that Marxist economies and Marxist governments are doomed to failure, and waste human life at an unconscionable level. Yet the Marxist, like a Scientologist, seems to think we’ve yet to achieve the necessary level of understanding (cough, “OT,” cough) which will make the perfection of the human condition possible. So we need to try one more time.
Always, there is one more time. Disregard all the awfulness of the past hundred years. It just doesn’t matter. We need to do it again, comrades!
Is this not a church? Is this not unbreakable faith? Despite all the evidence telling us it’s unfounded?
And now we have sexual and ethnic identitarianism, as well as environmentalism, rolled up into the Marxist tapestry. The purpose of the State is not just the perfection of the human condition, it’s also the salvation of the planet from certain catastrophic climate doom. As well as the full liberation of the transhuman mind to express itself as any gender it wants, any sexual flavor it can conceive. And all of this must be respected and enshrined by human activity as well as interactivity.
I’d call anything that denies the realities of biology and medical science, a kind of religious faith. Faith in the plasticity of people such that they can decide things for themselves which nature (or God, if you prefer) decided in the womb. A sort of gender and sexual Lysenkoism. The politics tell us it is so, so it must be so. Even when our genes and our bodies tell us, “Nope.”
I’d also call anything that revolves around doom prophecies of climate Armageddon, borderline cult-ish.
Consider: if you’re a street preacher who hangs a sign on his body and stands on the corner shouting, “The end is near!” they call you crazy. But if you’re Greta Thunberg and you go to a posh international conference and shout into a podium mic, “The end is near!” they put you up at the nicest hotels, publish your books to international fanfare, and make you rich.
And I’ve barely addressed the priests and priestesses of anti-racism. Consider someone like Robin DiAngelo, who’s made herself into a millionaire selling white guilt to wine moms. How is this any different from a plastic-haired televangelist who used to sell fire-and-brimstone guilt to evangelicals?
So, I think we have to conclude that humanity is in fact wired for faith. And even if we throw out the old churches and the old ways, we just invent new churches and new ways.
And I am frankly scared to death of the new churches. Cultural Marxism. Environmental Marxism. Equity Marxism, as preached by the anti-racists. It’s all prosecuted with a kind of religious zeal. Especially regarding punishment of designated evil-doers. Do not get caught being a kulak, comrade. It might not go well for you when the rainbow Cheka comes.
At least the old churches (many of them, anyway) bend a knee to a higher power. Concede that innocence is the default state of man, not guilt. And present a path for rehabilitation and redemption. Both temporal and spiritual. Our entire Western Enlightenment edifice of temporal law is predicated on it. Men are to answer for their own crimes, not the crimes of others. Collective guilt is anathema. You can’t punish a person merely for belonging to a category.
That last bit—about punishing people for their demographics—has been the focus of equality activism in America since the inception. And we had almost reached this point where everyone agreed it was wrong to exclude, defame, slander, judge, or jail anybody because of their sex, their gender, their ethnicity, who they sleep with, who they marry, et al.
But the new gods are jealous, and seek to drive out the old God. New types of sin are invented to replace the old type. And new villainy is invented to replace the old villainy.
Consider, stealing is no longer wrong, but misgendering somebody is.
Consider also, you can sleep around all you want, no harm no foul, but you better give up your car and buy an EV, or you’re a wretched climate sinner.
These are just two examples. I could spell out many, many others. I am sure you could, too. And is it not all just religion? Is it not just scriptures and a holy class of learned clerics piously insisting, while also making accusations of wrong, followed by threats of damnation? Except, nobody’s in their box ready to hear your confession. Give you penance. Nor will there be baptism for the cleansing of sin. No salvation promised. Merely incrimination.
For being a kulak, comrade.
A race kulak. A gender kulak. A sex kulak. A climate kulak. Sooner or later the bleeding edge of self-styled intellectual progress gets around to branding everyone a kulak for some reason. And each new breed of iconoclasts topples the statues and touchstones of the old, to in turn be toppled again by the iconoclasts who come after. Revolution as the perpetual state of things. Endless overturning of all that is established, for all that is new. Or believed to be new.
Is this insistence on perpetual revolution—especially as it destroys good and necessary institutions—not a kind of religious fanaticism?
Oh, there might not be any God in any of it, per se, but the zeal is the same as that possessed by the legendary mob who set fire to the library of Alexandria.
We must keep pushing the Year Zero button, comrade! The perfection of the human condition is at hand!
I want to hope that we can snap back from this. That we haven’t so thoroughly shed our Christian Enlightenment skin that the entire project tips into the sea of history. And in a thousand years some future civilization has to try to re-invent all that we made and did, from 1500 A.D. to 2000 A.D. Learning all the lessons all over again. Following an interminable dark age of suffering, ignorance, and a massive backsliding for the human species, from where we were at in 1999.
But the candle of my hope flickers too much these days. I see how easily the doctrines and gospels of the new religions fire the eyes of too many. Who’re absolutely certain in their hearts they’ve got all the answers.
Just like the Bolsheviks of 1920, the Neo-Bolsheviks of our time are going to bring it all down. Then make it all new again, in their own image. Because people who’ve never built anything in their lives, know precisely how civilization and society ought to be rebuilt.
Their faith in themselves and their ideas tells them this is true. And they will seemingly not be dissuaded.
The Rightmost edge of the Left is beginning to understand the situation. Too little, too late.
In Matt Taibbi’s August 1 Racket News column, (RTWT linked below) he says:
The cognoscenti never figured out or accepted that the support for protest candidates like Trump or Bernie Sanders even is rooted in wide generalized rage directed their way. To this day they don’t accept it. They keep thinking they can wish it away, describe it away (see Bump’s description of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. as “not at this point serious competition”), indict it away. If you drop 76 charges on a candidate and he goes up in polls, you might want to consider that you might be part of the problem. But they can’t take even that heavy a hint.
Just last week David Brooks, the New York Times token “Conservative” wrote a piece, “What If We’re the Bad Guys Here?” (also linked below) in which he asks:
We built an entire social order that sorts and excludes people on the basis of the quality that we possess most: academic achievement. Highly educated parents go to elite schools, marry each other, work at high-paying professional jobs and pour enormous resources into our children, who get into the same elite schools, marry each other and pass their exclusive class privileges down from generation to generation.
Daniel Markovits summarized years of research in his book “The Meritocracy Trap”: “Today, middle-class children lose out to the rich children at school, and middle-class adults lose out to elite graduates at work. Meritocracy blocks the middle class from opportunity. Then it blames those who lose a competition for income and status that, even when everyone plays by the rules, only the rich can win.”
The meritocracy isn’t only a system of exclusion; it’s an ethos. During his presidency Barack Obama used the word “smart” in the context of his policies over 900 times. The implication was that anybody who disagreed with his policies (and perhaps didn’t go to Harvard Law) must be stupid.
Over the last decades we’ve taken over whole professions and locked everybody else out. When I began my journalism career in Chicago in the 1980s, there were still some old crusty working-class guys around the newsroom. Now we’re not only a college-dominated profession, we’re an elite-college-dominated profession.”
Seriously read that entire thing.
Then read Angelo Codevilla’s 2010 piece “America’s Ruling Class and the Perils of Revolution.” Pertinent excerpt:
Never has there been so little diversity within America’s upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America’s upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another. Few had much contact with government, and “bureaucrat” was a dirty word for all. So was “social engineering.” Nor had the schools and universities that formed yesterday’s upper crust imposed a single orthodoxy about the origins of man, about American history, and about how America should be governed. All that has changed.
Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters — speaking the “in” language — serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America’s ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.
Important as they are, our political divisions are the iceberg’s tip. When pollsters ask the American people whether they are likely to vote Republican or Democrat in the next presidential election, Republicans win growing pluralities. But whenever pollsters add the preferences “undecided,” “none of the above,” or “tea party,” these win handily, the Democrats come in second, and the Republicans trail far behind. That is because while most of the voters who call themselves Democrats say that Democratic officials represent them well, only a fourth of the voters who identify themselves as Republicans tell pollsters that Republican officeholders represent them well. Hence officeholders, Democrats and Republicans, gladden the hearts of some one-third of the electorate — most Democratic voters, plus a few Republicans. This means that Democratic politicians are the ruling class’s prime legitimate representatives and that because Republican politicians are supported by only a fourth of their voters while the rest vote for them reluctantly, most are aspirants for a junior role in the ruling class. In short, the ruling class has a party, the Democrats. But some two-thirds of Americans — a few Democratic voters, most Republican voters, and all independents — lack a vehicle in electoral politics.
Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled.
Taibbi is observing what Codevilla predicted. Brooks is echoing what Codevilla explained with precision in 2010.
“The cognoscenti never figured out or accepted that the support for protest candidates like Trump or Bernie Sanders even is rooted in wide generalized rage directed their way.” – Taibbi
“As the sociologist E. Digby Baltzell wrote decades ago, “History is a graveyard of classes which have preferred caste privileges to leadership.” That is the destiny our class is now flirting with. We can condemn the Trumpian populists all day until the cows come home, but the real question is when will we stop behaving in ways that make Trumpism inevitable.” – Brooks
“Sooner or later, well or badly, that majority’s demand for representation will be filled.” – Codevilla
Your question, “Are we the bad guys”? The answer is yes. You are the bad guys. You have systematically dehumanized half the country because they dared to want to be represented by someone you don’t like. You have gone along with a warped distortion of who Donald Trump actually is, and you have perpetuated that lie to your own detriment.
Oh, it’s much worse than that, Mr. Brooks. Are you sitting down? This is the moment just before the aristocracy you write so eloquently about comes crashing down around you. You might say you have just spotted the iceberg on the horizon. The water is too still. The ship is moving too fast. It can’t be turned around in time. The ship is made of iron, and it will sink.
Like so many times before, an aristocratic minority can only stave off its ultimate collapse at the hands of the discontented majority for so long. Just look around at the abandoned mansions of the Gilded Age, a world that once was. Or take a trip to France and look at the chateaus in the countryside, or you might even look around in the American South at the plantations and high society before it was all Gone with the Wind.
I’m not necessarily saying the red states are going to drag America back in time – that’s your narrative and the false opinion of the ruling class. This is about a new America waiting to be born once the establishment elite gets out of the way.
You do get points for noticing, Mr. Brooks, even if it is too little, too late.
Q: Isn’t it a troubling sign that a thrice indicted former president is still popular amongst roughly half the U.S. population? How serious could the fallout be?
A: Serious. Because what it means is that confidence in the justice system specifically and the government in general is zilch.
Once government has lost legitimacy, bad things are bound to happen.
Something I stumbled across in the archives of this blog from 2013:
“We should expect many years of political turmoil, peaking in the 2020s. And because complex societies are much more fragile than we assume, there is a chance of a catastrophic failure of some kind, with a default on U.S. government bonds being among the less frightening possibilities.”
When a challenge to California’s Roberti-Roos Assault Weapon Ban, Silveira v. Lockyer, reached the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002, there was an appeal for an en banc review of the decision that supported the ban. That appeal was denied. In one of the dissents to that denial the very eloquent Judge Alex Kozinski wrote:
The able judges of the panel majority are usually very sympathetic to individual rights, but they have succumbed to the temptation to pick and choose. Had they brought the same generous approach to the Second Amendment that they routinely bring to the First, Fourth and selected portions of the Fifth, they would have had no trouble finding an individual right to bear arms. Indeed, to conclude otherwise, they had to ignore binding precedent. United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), did not hold that the defendants lacked standing to raise a Second Amendment defense, even though the government argued the collective rights theory in its brief. The Supreme Court reached the Second Amendment claim and rejected it on the merits after finding no evidence that Miller’s weapon – a sawed-off shotgun – was reasonably susceptible to militia use. We are bound not only by the outcome of Miller but also by its rationale. If Miller’s claim was dead on arrival because it was raised by a person rather than a state, why would the Court have bothered discussing whether a sawed-off shotgun was suitable for militia use? The panel majority not only ignores Miller‘s test; it renders most of the opinion wholly superfluous. As an inferior court, we may not tell the Supreme Court it was out to lunch when it last visited a constitutional provision.
Well apparently you can. In New York’s Goldstein v Hochul case, a suit to remove New York’s ban on firearms in synagogues, citing the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision I have cited here before, the Federal judge has denied an injunction of the ban while the case is being decided. His reasoning?
The Bruen test “is considered by many to be an impractical and intellectually flawed approach.”
AKA: The Supreme Court was “out to lunch” when they last visited a constitutional provision.
There were also restrictions on firearms access and ownership by Black people and Native Americans unrelated to whether they were law-abiding. See generally Adam Winkler, Racist Gun Laws and the Second Amendment, 135 Harv. L. Rev. 537 (2023). The implications of firearm ownership in both the founding and reconstruction eras was thus dramatically different from those in 2023, and thus, answering the question of whether statutes and regulations from those respective time periods are “relevantly similar under the Second Amendment”, Bruen, 142 S. Ct. at 2132, is an enormously difficult task that is likely to lead to inconsistent decisions that are untethered to reality, and is considered by many to be an impractical and intellectually flawed approach.
So because certain groups were previously denied the privileges and immunities of citizens under color of law, it’s OK to still do it now?
Well the answer in Civics class is “Either or both of the other two branches.”
Problem is, the Legislative Branch has abdicated a lot of its lawmaking power to the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch has allowed it. Now we have multiple Executive Branch Bureaus, Departments and Services that serve to make regulations (Legislative), enforce regulations (Executive) and punish violations (Judicial) essentially without oversight. We don’t elect the people in these organizations. We have no power to remove them.
Our only hope is the Legislative Branch or the Judicial Branch will stomp on their excesses. The Supreme Court recently did that with the EPAs abuse of the “Clean Water Act” in Sackett v. EPA. The legislature failed to do so in their review of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive’s recent redefinition of pistol braces, making what was legal now a federal felony. Senate Democrats reject measure to block pistol brace rule.
There’s a group over at Quora, “Gun Memes R Us” where I like to read and post. I came across this one and put it up:
It has inspired a number of comments, but I want to archive this thread:
Paul: Nobody is coming to take away your guns. The only reason you continue talking about something that will never happen is that it supports your violent fantasies about murdering your fellow countrymen.
UPDATE: Paul has responded, in a sense. The reply below and the remainder of the comment thread are now gone. END UPDATE.
Paul: Look at that. Another Trumpanzee who can only communicate through memes that were created by someone smarter than you. I’ve run across your cult before. I always feel bad for you knuckleheads.
I get your message, though. You couldn’t begin to refute my comment about how no one is coming to take your guns, and that disturbed you. To self-soothe, you posted a bunch of memes in the same way someone with epilepsy might have a grand mal seizure.
Me: Look at that, someone who comments on a meme page and complains about memes. (Most of which are screenshots of his ideological brethren.)
We’ve been told “no one is coming for your guns” for decades, while at the same time we get stuff like this from legislators:
Or this exchange between North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop and the loathsome Jerry Nadler over H.R. 1808:
“Would anyone on the other side dispute that this bill would ban weapons that are in common use in the United States today?” Bishop asked.
“That’s the point of the bill,” Nadler replied.
“So, to clarify, Mr. Chairman, you’re saying it is the point of the bill to ban weapons that are in common use in the United States today,” the Republican representative pressed.
“Yes,” Nadler clarified. “The problem is that they’re in common use.”
So, no one wants to take our guns? Pull my other leg.
Paul: I’m impressed. Most people who speak in memes literally can’t communicate otherwise. You actually made a coherent point.
It’s wrong. First, nobody is trying to take “all firearms” from you (as this meme stated). In the case of HR 1808, that’s a ban on assault weapons, similar to what we had before when mass shootings were much less frequent. You can still have the rest of your guns.
I know, I know. You’d sooner watch a thousand kids mowed down by AR15s than part with yours. That’s your prerogative. But not everyone is a sociopath, and they have their prerogatives too.
Me: What, you’d prefer them mowed down with 12 gauge shotguns? 9mm pistols? How many children are you willing to let die? If the number of guns is the problem, then the solution must be reducing the number in circulation to as close to zero as to make no difference. That’s the logic. “If it saves one life!” So excuse me if I don’t kowtow to your “It’s only ‘assault weapons!’ “ argument. It’s bullshit.
I’ve been doing this for about thirty years now. I have the receipts.
Pundit Charles Krauthammer stated the obvious in his 1996 column “Disarm the Citizenry, But Not Yet”:
“Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed in sister democracies like Canada and Britain. Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the United States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically.
“It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today.
“Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic – purely symbolic – move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.”
In 1988 the Violence Policy Center, a group founded on the platform of banning all handguns (we could keep rifles and shotguns, for now) wrote a white paper entitled “Assault Weapons and Accessories in America.” From its conclusion:
“Assault weapons are increasingly being perceived by legislators, police organizations, handgun restriction advocates, and the press as a public health threat. As these weapons come to be associated with drug traffickers, paramilitary extremists, and survivalists, their television and movie glamour is losing its lustre to a violent reality.
“Because of this fact, assault weapons are quickly becoming the leading topic of America’s gun control debate and will most likely remain the leading gun control issue for the near future. Such a shift will not only damage America’s gun lobby, but strengthen the handgun restriction lobby for the following reasons:
It will be a new topic in what has become to the press and public an “old” debate. Although handguns claim more than 20,000 lives a year, the issue of handgun restriction consistently remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and public. The reasons for this vary: the power of the gun lobby; the tendency of both sides of the issue to resort to sloganeering and pre-packaged arguments when discussing the issue; the fact that until an individual is affected by handgun violence he or she is unlikely to work for handgun restrictions; the view that handgun violence is an “unsolvable” problem; the inability of the handgun restriction movement to organize itself into an effective electoral threat; and the fact that until someone famous is shot, or something truly horrible happens, handgun restriction is simply not viewed as a priority. Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.
Efforts to stop restrictions on assault weapons will only further alienate the police from the gun lobby. Until recently, police organizations viewed the gun lobby in general, and the NRA in particular, as a reliable friend. This stemmed in part from the role the NRA played in training officers and its reputation regarding gun safety and hunter training. Yet, throughout the 1980s, the NRA has found itself increasingly on the opposite side of police on the gun control issue. Its opposition to legislation banning armor-piercing ammunition, plastic handguns, and machine guns, and its drafting of and support for the McClure/Volkmer handgun decontrol bill, burned many of the bridges the NRA had built throughout the past hundred years. As the result of this, the Law Enforcement Steering Committee was formed. The Committee now favors such restriction measures as waiting periods with background check for handgun purchase and a ban on machine guns and plastic firearms. If police continue to call for assault weapons restrictions, and the NRA continues to fight such measures, the result can only be a further tarnishing of the NRA’s image in the eyes of the public, the police, and NRA members. The organization will no longer be viewed as the defender of the sportsman, but as the defender of the drug dealer.
Efforts to restrict assault weapons are more likely to succeed than those to restrict handguns. Although the majority of Americans favor stricter handgun controls, and a consistent 40 percent of Americans favor banning the private sale and possession of handguns, many Americans do believe that handguns are effective weapons for home self-defense and the majority of Americans mistakenly believe that the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the individual right to keep and bear arms. Yet, many who support the individual’s right to own a handgun have second thoughts when the issue comes down to assault weapons. Assault weapons are often viewed the same way as machine guns and “plastic” firearms—a weapon that poses such a grave risk that it’s worth compromising a perceived constitutional right.
So excuse me if I reject your “They only want to take X away” bullshit for what it is. It’s a camel’s nose under the tent, and your side has no compunction about lying to achieve it.
Paul: There’s a reason mass shooters choose AR15s over a 12-gauge or a 9mm pistol. That reason is the same as why HR 1808 exists. The AR15 is an assault rifle (and yes, spare me, I know that’s not what the “AR” stands for). It can also be considered a “battle rifle,” as the cops in Uvalde called it. It’s a gun for little boys to pretend that they’re GI Joe (best case scenario) or to mow down a bunch of people (worst case). It has no positives to it.
Regarding this quote from above:
“Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed in sister democracies like Canada and Britain.”
I wholeheartedly agree with this. A civilized society can’t be armed like this. However, I understand we will never be disarmed due to the 2nd Amendment and the impossibility of repealing it. Therefore, the US will never be a civilized society. Everyone in government understands that. Seriously, to find someone in government who believes we can take away all guns would require finding someone as dumb as Marjorie Tailor Greene, and the left doesn’t have people that dumb.
Me: “There’s a reason mass shooters choose AR15s over a 12-gauge or a 9mm pistol.” Really? Pray tell, what is it? The last one had an AR, but used a Kel-Tec Sub 2000, a pistol-caliber carbine. The majority of them are carried out with handguns because handguns are portable and concealable. Columbine? Shotguns, a pistol-caliber carbine and a pistol.
But all you want is “assault rifles”? Yeah. Right. For The Children.
I want the school staff that is willing to be able to carry, and I want signs like this posted around the campus:
In the Tennessee shooting the Sheriff reported that the shooter had considered a different target, but because it had security she chose the Christian school instead.
I want to do something that WORKS. You want security theater.
Paul: Ok, you want to do something that WORKS. (Caps lock noted…you’re serious!)
Do you know any educators? How many do you think have the aptitude and inclination to use a gun to defend a class of kids against an assailant armed to the teeth? Remember, the Uvalde cops were shit scared to confront such a shooter. But you want Mrs. Harrison who teaches the 3rd grade to handle it.
Also, do you know how little teachers get paid for the amount of work they put in? But you want to add on top of that the requirement to buy a gun and be trained on it all on the same salary, because let’s face it, giving teachers more money is un-American to a republican.
Is this what you think will work?
Me: How many school staffers are veterans? How many staffers are there compared to the teaching staff? Hell, the janitor can carry if he’s willing. Why do want to deny the willing and able? You’re using Uvalde as an example? Those guys signed up for that job, then didn’t do it. That didn’t happen in Tennessee.
What makes you think, in a nation where about a third of the population owns guns, that no school staffers – including teachers – already owns guns? Already have concealed-carry licenses? I know one teacher. She taught middle school math and science for 40 years. She owned a gun most of her professional career, but she wasn’t allowed to even have it in her car on campus.
Yes, I want schools to be less attractive targets.
Paul: Your questions are all valid. However, don’t pretend you know the answers. You have no idea if there are enough veterans or gun owners at each school to protect them.
The reason I mention the Uvalde cops is because, yes, they signed up for that job. And they didn’t do it. But you’re expecting people who did not sign up for that job to do it instead?
Also, who’s paying these people? “Oh, by the way, Mavis, starting on Monday we’d like you to start providing security for your Spanish class. It’s just another part of the job.”
This could be a viable plan if it gets past these obstacles. But I don’t expect it would.
Me: Utah has allowed staff to carry on campus for years. I personally know that many trainers offered staff free training so they could get their permits. When was the last school shooting in Utah?
You don’t seem to have any faith in your fellows. Just because you cannot see yourself defending yourself or innocents doesn’t mean others can’t. You’d rather disarm everyone so you don’t have to feel guilty about it. (End – for now.)
I’m curious to see if he’ll come back with anything.
I want to give this guy props for trying, but more importantly, I want more people to be aware, that he is EXCEPTIONAL, not average. He’s TRYING.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of U.S. adults 16-74 years old – about 130 million people – lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.
Per another study, “One out of every five bachelor’s degree holders among employed college graduates ages 21 to 65 lacks minimum skills in literacy. For numeracy, the number is one in three.”
Employed. College. Graduates.
Literacy has declined, according to John Taylor Gatto, from 96% in 1942, to 81% in 1955, to 73% in 1973. Today it’s 46%. The Department of Education was formed in 1979 in part to combat the trend. The 1983 report “A Nation at Risk” declared:
“Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur–others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments.
“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”
It was an act of war. But a foreign power wasn’t responsible.
It’s easier to control a population that cannot think.